Safe travels everyone! Have a MAGICAL day!
Today is the day! We are Disney bound come 2:00 this afternoon. I am beyond words excited about heading to Walt Disney World for my 5th Princess Half Marathon weekend. This is the weekend that we have all spent countless hours getting ready for - training, creating costumes, planning our trips, etc.
Our family's costume reveals will be happening on here over the next 3 days (5K will be shared Thursday, 10K on Friday, and 1/2 marathon on Saturday). Be sure to check out our costumes and make sure to come say hi to us if you see us over the weekend - we would love to meet you! Having FOMO? While I can't take you along with me, I will be posting pictures and updates of the weekend on Instagram and Twitter so feel free to follow along in the fun.
I wish everyone a very magical time this weekend! Whether you are running the 5K, all 3 races, or cheEARing, it is bound to be a great time. Remember, it is only as magical as you let it be, so sit back, relax, and enjoy it!
Safe travels everyone! Have a MAGICAL day!
I won't lie - training for a race can be hard at times. Between giving up some of your Saturday for a long run, battling brutal winter weather conditions, and a wide variety of other things that can come into your life, it isn't always easy to stay on track. From training buddies, group runs and more, there are many different ways to help stay accountable to your training plan and goals. With the Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon coming up in about 10 weeks I wanted to share a few of my favorite ways that I am staying accountable to my plan.
Get Rewarded with Dick's Sporting Goods
Whoever said that running is an inexpensive sport obviously has not seen my running expenditures recently. From running shoes every three months, to clothes, to night gear, and all those other 'must haves' the costs can add up for sure! What if you could earn Dick's Sporting Goods reward certificates just for getting your steps in each day and going on your training runs? That is right, earn free rewards certificates just for doing the things that you are already doing!
Last year I received an email from my friends at Pittsburgh Marathon about a new rewards program from Dick's Sporting Goods, MOVE, and I have been hooked ever since. MOVE is a feature on the DICK’S Sporting Goods App that lets runners sync their FitBit or MapMyRun app to earn points to cash in for Rewards. BOOM! Nothing beats free running gear, right?
Ready to get started? Here are four easy steps to get set up and on your way to earning some Dick's Sporting Goods Rewards.
For more information about the Dick's Sporting Goods App as well as the MOVE program, click here.
MilestonePod Get In the Game Challenge
A new feature to the Pittsburgh Marathon training program in 2016 was a partnership with MilestonePod. These awesome little shoe pods help analyze your runs with amazing statistics that go deeper into your run than what many GPS watches do. (Checkout my review here)
After a successful year working together, the Get In The Game Challenge has returned for 2017! The Get In The Game Challenge is a friendly weekly challenge among runners to win prizes each week. Every week there is a new challenge announced and winners are announced weekly for completing various tasks during their training runs for the week. Yay prizes! Be sure to check out the Pittsburgh Marathon website for more information on MilestonePods as well as the Get In The Game Challenge.
If you haven't signed up for the Pittsburgh Marathon or 1/2 Marathon, what are you waiting for!?!? Register before March 1, 2017 to get in before the price increase.
Remember, code GILBERT17 will save you $10 on your registration.
I cannot wait to see YOU in Pittsburgh on May 7th! GAME ON PGH!
Saturday was a HUGE day for me!
I mean HUGE!
My run streak (and Momma K's) is now at 1,000 days!!!!!! Yes, 1,000 consecutive days of 1+ mile per day! What a wild and crazy 1,000 days it has been to say the least. Since I was in Florida for the A1A 1/2 Marathon and Momma K was back home in Georgia, we completed day 1,000 apart. This only seems fitting though as we were apart for day 1, day 500, and now day 1,000.
In celebration of this monumental day for me, here is a look back at how the run streak began and a few of the memories during the past 1,000 days.
In May 2014, Momma K and I took on the Runner's World Run Streak challenge. During the challenge you complete at least 1 mile per day from Memorial Day until July 4th. The Run Streak is an awesome way to commit to stay active during the summer months where many people are busy with vacations, days at the pool/beach/lake, etc. Momma K and I were both in training for the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland so we figured we would just do a "easy mile" on the days that we would typically rest. Everyone has their own opinions on run streaks, but we were down to try it.
Each day we diligently logged our mile. Whether it was a race, a training run, a quick mile before yoga, or a lap around the neighborhood, we got our mile in. The "end" of the run streak was on July 4th which was the Peachtree Road Race 10K and we talked about how tomorrow we finally get a break. Well, July 5th rolled around and I looked at mom and said "want to go do a mile?" The rest is history.
As we kept setting our eyes on short term milestones (50 days, 100 days, etc), the run streak just became a part of life. Yes, there were days that we didn't want to go do our mile, but we did it. Did we want to start back over at day 1 just because we were tired? NO!
We have encountered some pretty crazy situations while doing our "mile+ a day." We have gone out in rain, sun, hot, cold, night and day. There was one day that we were doing our mile and a storm started rolling in and we had to haul butt back, but we got our mile in. In winter, we headed out to the park for a long training run and everything was covered in ice and also sported some pretty fancy pre-race throw aways.
Don't forget the holidays! Just because it is Christmas Day does not mean that we didn't get our mile in. Mom, dad, and I all headed out to the park to get a few miles in as a family. No matter the holiday, we were out there doing our thing and continuing our run streak.
What about vacations? Well, the first few days when we are at Disney were easy - we simply did our mile+ at the races. Even though we would be walking 10+ miles a day in the parks, we still did our mile each morning before heading off the the parks. On other vacations/racecations we have even utilized hotel parking lots to make sure our mile was done.
It has definitely been a crazy ride the past 1000 days, but I wouldn't change it for anything. Each run completed has its own story and I loved getting out there each day whether with friends/family or solo. How long will the run streak continue? Only time will tell!
Question of the Day: Have you ever taken part in a run streak? How long did you "streak" for?
It was just July when we were panicking trying to get registered for Princess Half Marathon weekend 2017 - where did time go!?!? Next week thousands of princesses (and a few smart and lucky princes) will be pounding the pavement on a 13.1 mile journey through Walt Disney World.
This will be my 5th Princess Half Marathon (and 4th Glass Slipper Challenge), and I am as excited as ever for the weekend. Momma K and I have spent many cold and windy mornings training for this weekend. It is to a point where it seems like Princess weekend and WDW are the only things that we talk about right now. To celebrate the final few days before Princess Half Marathon weekend 2017 kicks off, here is a look back at a few highlights of the past three years:
In 2013 I spent a lot of time waiting in character lines for pictures - like 15+ minutes for the pirates, and another 10-15 minutes for the princes (the pictures were so worth it). While I went solo in 2013, it was still an absolutely magical and amazing weekend!
In 2014, I paced Momma K to completing her first half marathon which was one of the most magical memories of my life! You only get one first half marathon, and I think she would agree with me by saying that it was one of the most memorable days of her life.
The 2015 Princess Half Marathon weekend was Frozen themed. In keeping with the theme we dressed as Anna and Elsa with our sidekick Olaf along with us. This was a huge one for Momma K as she PRed by about 10 minutes that morning.
Last year was definitely a half marathon of highs and lows. We were rocking our way through the course when Momma K found the only pothole on Disney property in front of Grand Floridian at mile 6.5. Don't worry though, a gashed up knee didn't damper our fun. Sure we walked the last 6 miles, but we were having a blast! That is what runDisney is really about!
Now it is time to get your final costume preparations done, the last training runs logged, and get ready to head to Walt Disney World! Get your tiaras ready friends, it is time to go to DISNEY!
Question of the Day: What was your first 1/2 Marathon? If you haven't ran one, what was your most memorable race?
A week from now, thousands of runners will be flocking to the Wide World of Sports Complex for the start of the 2017 Princess Half Marathon weekend expo!
It is no secret that I love going to race expos. Race expos can tend to be a little overwhelming for runners, especially if it is your first large race. Remember, race weeks should be fun so here are a few tips to help make your expo experience a little more magical.
1. If race merchandise is important to you - go the first day if possible.
As with any expo, merchandise is limited and runDisney is no exception. Thousands of runners eager to purchase official race merchandise and other limited edition merchandise (Dooney & Bourke purses, runDisney New Balance shoes, etc). In addition to runners, there are unfortunately people looking to purchase limited edition merchandise to resell at a high premium.
Lines tend to start forming early for entry to the expo, so remember that the early bird gets the worm. If you cannot get to the expo first thing, don't worry, there will still be merchandise left however sizes and styles will become limited as time goes on. If you have a friend going to the expo earlier than you, you can perhaps have them pick up the things you just have to have. I highly recommend going to the race merchandise area as soon as possible though if you wish to get any - remember your bib will not go anywhere.
2. Have your waiver and ID ready.
Make sure you print up your waiver before you leave for the weekend. While you can print up a copy of your waiver at the expo, doing so can waste precious expo time. Your ID is vital in packet pick-up - a lot of major races require a photo ID in order to pick up your bib. (NOTE: runDisney does NOT allow participants to pick up a bib on someone's behalf)
3. Pinpoint exhibitors that you want to visit.
runDisney posts the official event guide on the race website a few weeks before race weekend. I always make sure to scope out the vendor list. I first go through and mark the vendors that I am already familiar with and want to check out their booth for new product and/or expo specials. Make sure you keep an eye on your favorite vendors' social media outlets for potential expo specials and/or giveaways.
Next, I do some research on other vendors that I am not familiar with and mark them on the expo map if they have a product I might be interested in (remember, NO NEW GEAR/FUEL ON RACE DAY THOUGH!). While I still walk through the entire expo, having a plan of attack helps me make sure that I see all the vendors I want.
4. Set a budget.
Yes, you might be on vacation, but that is not an excuse to overspend. While it is tempting to buy all the merchandise, it can get expensive...QUICKLY! Look at merchandise previews (if available) and see what items you would use the most. My typical splurge is a race jacket - I wear them all the time in the winter and usually have one at my desk for when the office is cool.
5. Bring snacks and drinks.
You will likely spend a little bit of time browsing the expo, so make sure you bring a light snack and your water bottle. You are here to run a race, so you want to make sure you are staying hydrated even while at the expo.
6. Use discounts.
There are different ways to save a few dollars at the expo, you just need to know how. In the official merchandise area, you can save on your purchase a few ways. If you are a AP, DVC, or Disney Visa member you can save on your official merchandise purchase (ask your cashier for specific details).
Did you know that you can pre-purchase Disney gift cards at some wholesale discount stores (such as Costco) at a discount? Disney giftcards can be used as payment at the official merchandise area at the expo as well as throughout the Disneyland resort on food, merchandise, etc. While these discounts might not be huge, every bit helps.
7. Take advantage of freebies.
There will be a lot of freebies at the expo - promotional items as well as photo opportunities. Make sure to take advantage of the free photos for sure! These are a great commemorative keepsake to remember your race weekend with.
8. HAVE FUN & BE KIND!
We are all here to have fun. Don't let the little things ruin your time. Yes, it is upsetting if you don't get the shirt you want because your size is sold out already, the line to check out is long, or it is crowded. We all want to continue our vacation adventures by going to the parks, hanging out the pool with our families, etc....be patient.
BE KIND, y'all! Be sweet to the cast members, vendors, and volunteers. They are here to make you have a great experience. Say thank you and smile - a true princess once said "have courage and be kind..."
Remember, have a MAGICAL time!
Question of the Day: What are you most looking forward to at the Princess Half Marathon expo?
I had such an awesome experience at last year's Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon, that I knew that I needed to add it to my 2017 calendar again. Just like last year, I added the Regions Superhero 5K to my race weekend. This was a great 5K last year and made for a great shakeout run the day before the half marathon.
The race started at 8:00 Central Time and since we are in Eastern Time in Atlanta, we had an extra hour to venture to Birmingham on Saturday morning. We left Atlanta around 5:30am EST and arrived at the race at 7:15 CST. We picked up our bibs easy peasy and got ready to run.
The start line area was self-seeded by pace and I lined up with a fairly conservative pace. We took off promptly at 8am. With about 1000 runners, I was surprised that the course never felt congested (not even at the start). I headed out at a comfortable pace and didn't worry about pace.
About a mile in you entered Railroad Park in the Regions Field area of Birmingham. It was such a cute little area for sure that was a nice paved "trail" in a green-space downtown. As we rounded Regions Field at about the half way point, there was a water with plenty of energetic volunteers on hand to cheer you on as they kept you hydrated.
Seriously, y'all! This course is AMAZING! The course was so pancake flat with a difference of only about 17 feet between the lowest point and the highest point along the way. Coming from Atlanta, we don't get courses like this very often, so I was beyond thrilled about how this course was laid out.
After crossing the finish line, you received your medal and went through a secure 'runners only' area where there were post-race beverages. I love races that do this because there have been times where I have ran a race and spectators have taken a lot of the snacks before all the runners have finished.
While waiting for Momma K to finish, I ran into my sweet Bama friend, Kristen (BamaGirlsRun). It was great catching up with her for a bit. If you aren't friends with her, trust me, you are missing out. ;-)
While you could pick-up your 5K packet on race morning, the marathon, half marathon, and relay runners had to pickup their packets at the race expo. Conveniently, the race expo was held at the same auditorium that the races were at.
After finishing the 5K we headed to check in at the hotel which was a block away, put our luggage in the room and grabbed a quick bite to eat. Around 11am we headed to the expo to get our packets for Sunday and check out the expo.
Packet pick-up was an absolute breeze. Packets were organized by bib numbers (sent to you via email or you could look them up at the expo). There was no wait when we got ours so it was a super easy in and out process. You were also able to pickup packets for friends and family as well which was nice for those arriving to town later that evening or the next morning.
After getting our packets, we made our way around the expo floor a bit. Most of the vendors were local companies and races which were not too interesting to us since we aren't local. We found a few things to try out and purchase though of course.
The Superhero 5K was awesome for sure. It was a very well ran race, great course, awesome volunteers, and a lot of fun. It was a perfect shake out run for the half marathon the next morning. Oh, and we got capes as well in our runner packet! Yes, please.
The day concluded with a yummy pasta dinner and a little relaxing before heading to bed nice and early for tomorrow's half marathon.
After a fun filled (and busy) day, it was time to get ready for my 13.1 mile tour of New Orleans. I was crazy excited to see some other parts of the city and also cross another state off my list in process. I have heard so many awesome things about the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans races from friends, so I was pumped to finally get to run it myself.
It was a bright and early wake up call! I took advantage of VIP today (more on that later) which opened at 6am and I had about a .75 mile walk to the race, so I left the hotel around 5:45 to start the morning. After hanging out at VIP for a bit, I headed towards the start line to meet up with some of my fellow INKnBURN ambassadors.
One of the awesome things about Rock 'n' Roll races is that the draw crowds from around the country (and world) so I got to meet a few ambassadors that I had been friends with over the interwebs for a while, but never met in real life until now. SO COOL!
The 10K started at 7am at a different start line and the marathon and half marathon started at 7:30am. I think there were 22 corrals total for the marathon & half marathon. Things were well organized, pacers were easy to spot, and things moved smoothly. My friend Jill and I hoped in our corral after a last minute port-o-potty stop so we didn't have to wait very long in the corral before the race.
With about a minute or so between corrals, we were off and on our way in now time. A lot of the time, races this size can tend to be really crowded, but I didn't feel too crowded today. Yes, a large number of people took off in each corral, but I think the width of the road allowed for runners to spread out quickly.
My friend, Jill, was out rockin' the full marathon today. Since the full marathon and half marathon shared the same course until mile 12.5ish, Jill and stuck together most of the way. It is always fun to spend time with friends on the race course and I haven't seen Jill in a bit so it was good to catch up with her.
This recap is going to be REALLY different than my normal race recaps. Rather than being like "at mile 1...blah blah blah", I decided to just bundle and highlight a few of my favorite parts of the race and highlight them. Here goes nothing...
Just after walking around New Orleans some on Saturday, I knew that this city is fully of beautiful architecture! From beautiful building that you could tell have only been kept up over the years to ones that obviously had a good amount of modern updates done to it, the lines and details in the structures are just breath taking. I will admit it, it was super distracted along the way by some of these beauties. I love how even though the design is from the same era, each building or house seemed to tell its own story. Since Mardi Gras is just around the corner, there were a lot of houses gearing up for the celebration.
To say that the course support in New Orleans was great is an understatement. There were so many people out with signs, cow bells, snacks, and even 'beverages' along the way. Sometimes running can feel lonely, but the people of New Orleans and runners' friends and family came out in full force to make us feel loved on race day. This was some of the absolute best course support I have seen and I could not be more thankful for each and every person out there.
All of the above spectators and supporters were AWESOME, but I wanted to give a special shout out to a few spectators that really rocked my world along the 13.1 miles of New Orleans. First, thank you to the cheer zone that came out full of Disco fever with some awesome music, great outfits, and topped it off with a disco ball! I mean, who can say no to stopping for a mid-race disco at mile 11?
Next, a shout out for the the HUGE "King Cake Crew" as I called them. I have no clue how many King Cakes they had out there, but man oh man did I enjoy getting some at mile 4.5. I didn't get the baby in my piece :(
Finally, I forget your name, but to the sweet yellow lab that gave me puppy kisses at mile 6, thank you.
The course took you through some pretty great and unique parts of New Orleans. A lot of the first 7 miles or so were through residential areas (which were GORGEOUS) out towards Loyola University and back. Around mile 9 you arrived to the French Quarter and French Market areas. One of my favorite points on course though was the final stretch through City Park - BEAUTIFUL! City Park served as the perfect backdrop for the finish line and home for the post race party!
After crossing the finish line of 6.2, 13.1, or 26.2 miles, it was time to kickback and CELEBRATE! Huge shout out to Chocolate Milk to having the goods on hand to help me get recovered (psssst - it takes AMAZING too!). This was one of the best finish line areas that I have experienced in the Rock 'n' Roll race series simply because of how much space there was. City Park is HUGE and gave runners and spectators ample space to spread out and enjoy some sunshine and enjoy the concert by Dirty Dozen Brass Band. I really wished that I had more time to spend post race, but I had to get checked out of my hotel room and catch my shuttle to the airport. (Poor planning on my part).
To say I really enjoyed this race is an understatement. Everything from race organization, to course support, bling and more was AWESOME! Thank you Rock 'n' Roll for an awesome 13.1 mile tour of New Orleans! All of the staff, volunteers, emergency personnel, bands, and fellow runners made it a ROCKIN' time for sure.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Hedstrom Fitness in partnership with Fit Approach. I was provided with free product from Hedstrom Fitness in addition to compensation for my time. As always, I will keep it real and all opinions are my own. In addition, I am not a trainer or physician and you should consult your physician before starting any fitness program.
One of the things that I really want to improve on in 2017 is stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things in terms of my fitness routine. I am on a 990+ day run streak currently and I also cross train with yoga twice a week, abs/core strengthening, and circuit workouts at the gym. Yes, I know I can do better in terms of cross training. To be truthful, I get intimidated by gym equipment easily.
When the team at Fit Approach shared an opportunity to try out the Hedstrom Kamagon Ball I was excited with a wee bit of nervousness. I wanted the chance to try new things this year, here is my chance. I was crazy excited when my Kamagon Ball arrived and could not wait to try it out. First, I had to learn about what exactly the Kamagon Ball was, how to use it, and the benefits of it.
So, the Kamagon Ball seems pretty cool, right?!?! I mean, this sound pretty great for strengthening my body to perform better on the run and just life in general. Hydo-WHAT?!?! I was intrigued when I read the term Hydro-Inertia. I had heard a bit about Hydro-Inertia as far as it growing as a fitness trend for 2017, but I didn't know too much about it. Obviously it was dealing with water movement, but I needed to educate myself a little more.
My Kamagon Ball arrived just before an ice storm hit Georgia. I knew that I would likely be trapped in the house for a day or two until the thick sheet of ice covering my driveway and road went away a bit, so an at home workout would definitely be necessary.
After spending the past few weeks with my Kamagon Ball and trying a wide variety of exercises with it, I can definitely say that I am pleased with it. There are four main areas that I really liked about using the Kamagon Ball.
At Home Workouts
Don't get me wrong, I love going to the gym. I know, it sounds crazy, but I do. However, there are times that it is sometimes not possible to get to the gym or you just want to switch things up a bit. Yes, the gym is great, but having options is always a good thing. The Kamagon Ball will allow me to have a backup option in the event that weather keeps you trapped in the house or I want a little "extra" after coming home from a run or yoga class. The choice is mine and that is what I like.
The best part? It is small and way better than bulky equipment laying around your living room or bedroom. The Kamagon Ball is about the size of a basketball with 2 handles on the side. Can you say 'easy storage'??!?!
Plastic Coated & Soft Grip
We have all probably dropped a weight a time or too. You know, the loud "clank" that happens when it hits the ground (and hopefully not your foot). If you are like me and have hardwood floors, you don't want something damaging those floors. Thanks to the coating on the Kamagon Ball, your floors are protected from damage if you drop it.
Call me a girly girl if you must, but I don't necessarily want calluses on my hands from weights. Rough grips on traditional free weights can really take a toll on your hands. The plastic coated handles on the Kamagon Ball gives you a firm grip yet doesn't tear up your hands with rough medal handles/grips.
Ease of Adding Weight
I admit it, I am kind of "dumb" when it comes to fitness equipment at times. I get easily intimidated by "new" things and like to be shown by a friend or trainer what to do with said equipment (I don't want to hurt myself).
OH MY STARS! The Kamagon Ball was so crazy easy to figure out! The first few exercises that I tried I didn't use any water. I know, I know, that defeats the purpose of Hydro-Inertia™ training, but I wanted to feel comfortable with the grip and the form needed in order to get the most out of my workout before diving in.
After getting the swing of things, I went into the kitchen and added a bit of water into the Kamagon Ball. On the bottom of the ball is a screw on cap that you simply unscrew and add the amount of water that you are wanting (based on the weight gauge). By adding water to the Kamagon Ball, you are able to adjust the weight from 1lb to 13lbs for the 9" Kamagon Ball.
I loved not only how simple it was to change the weight, but I loved the fact that I don't have to have multiple free weights, trip over a collection of kettle bells or having resistance bands galore in my way. Plus, that burn is crazy, yo! In all seriousness, it it a great workout all with one small piece of equipment.
Variety of Workouts
One of the things that I enjoyed the most from using the Kamagon Ball was the flexibility of exercises that can be done with it. I was actually kind of mind blown at the variety of moves that I could do with my Kamagon Ball. Much like a kettlebell, free weights, or weigh machines, there are different ways to target particular muscle groups. A DVD and exercise chart came with the Kamagon Ball which I really enjoyed learning some new things to amp up my cross-training, but the thing that excited me most was the #FridayFive challenges that FitApproach and Hedstrom Fitness hosted for four weeks. Basically each week we had 5 different exercises to try out with the Kamagon Ball. WOW! It was crazy fun to try some new moves and see all the different ways that Hydro-Inertia™ could be incorporated into my workout. Here is a breakdown of the different moves that we did each week.
A HUGE thank you again to Hedstrom Fitness and FitApproach for the opportunity to try out the Kamagon Ball and be introduced to Hydro-Inertia™. I conquered my "fear" of trying new fitness routines and found an awesome new tool to use in my fitness journey. I admit that it is even a lot of fun using the Kamagon Ball and trying out new exercises or even revamping exercises that you have been doing for years. Goodbye boring sit ups ;-)
While my product review and "Friday Five" Fit Approach challenge is over, my Kamagon Ball workouts are anything but over!
Hedstrom Fitness gave me a coupon for Surge/Kamagon products to share with my readers for 25% - the code is SPHF25 and is valid until 2/28/17 (valid in US / Canada).
To learn more about the Hedstrom Fitness product line, head over to their website www.hedstromfitness.com
Headstrom Fitness on Facebook: www.facebook.com/hedstromfit
Hedstrom Fitness on Instagram: @Hedstrom_Fitness
HedstromFitness on Twitter: @HedstromFitness
You have spent months training and preparing for race day, why not run like the rock star that you are and enjoy some extra perks to make the day a bit more relaxing and special? While we can all dream of living like a rock star, you can come close to feeling like a rock star at the Rock 'n' Roll VIP Experience.
Last weekend, I took part in the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans VIP Race Day Experience. Let me tell you, it pretty much rocks! You are running 13.1 or 26.2 miles - you deserve a little pampering if you ask me. Call me a princess, diva, or whatever, but I love the little "extras" that VIP throws your way on race day.
Since a lot of runners are not familiar with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series VIP Experience other than seeing that area marked "wristband required", I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite perks of the 2017 Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans VIP Experience.
1. Private Meeting Area
The pre-race VIP for New Orleans was held indoors at the Hilton. The whether in the South in the winter can be kinda of crazy and this weekend was just that. For the 5K on Saturday it was pretty cold but Sunday morning brought fairly milder temps in the morning that quickly warmed up after sunrise. While I would have been ok waiting outside this morning, if it would have been a cold or rainy morning, I would have been even more thankful for an indoor place to wait for the race to begin.
Let's be honest, trying to find your family and friends after a large race can be kind of a marathon in itself. One of the perks of the VIP area is that there are a lot less people roaming around and you have a definite spot to meet up with your family & friends after the race.
Since I went to New Orleans solo, I didn't have to worry about where to meet up with anyone before hand or afterwards. However, I was able to meet up with a few friends and make some new runner friends both before an after the race while enjoying some breakfast.
2. Pre-Race/Post-Race Food
No doubt that runners need to eat. Heck, some of love to eat so much that we dream of that epic post race meal mid-race. Ok, maybe that is just me. HAHA! When you are a Rock 'n' Roll VIP you are treated to a pre-race breakfast including bagels, bananas, water, coffee, etc. I am a big creature of habit when it comes to my pre-race routine (plus you don't want to try anything new on race day), so I mainly just enjoyed the beverages with my protein bar. If you are one though that enjoys a peanut butter bagel or bananas before hand, having this readily available to you before heading out to the corrals is pretty sweet - especially if you traveled to the race.
Post-race, it was GAME ON! It was awesome to get done with my race and have something more than a banana and snacks from the finisher's chute. There was a variety of different options from lighter fare to more hearty brunch foods to get your body refueled and ready to take on the rest of the day.
4. Post Race Stretch/Massage
Whether you ran a super flat course like in New Orleans or one made up of 'super-sized speed bumps', your muscles could definitely use a little TLC after your race. Since I was about to be flying back home this afternoon and had to get checked out of my room (and shower) in the next hour or so, I had to skip out on the massage today. I did take advantage of the stretching mats and rollers to help my legs get ready for the flight home.
Obviously, whether adding a VIP experience to your Rock 'n' Roll race weekend is right for you will vary by person. We each have our own little perks and splurges that we enjoy. To learn more about the packages and pricing of becoming a VIP at your next Rock 'n' Roll race, head to the race's website to learn more.
Prices of Rock 'n' Roll VIP packages very between locations and perks may also vary. To upgrade your race day experience you are looking at around $70-90/person, but if you are wanting to add a little bit of extra hospitality and feeling like a true 'rockstar' I highly recommend at least trying it once.
Princess Half Marathon weekend 2017 is less than 2 weeks away! (***insert scream here***) We are starting our final preparations to head to Walt Disney World - costumes, wrapping up our training runs, and starting to get things together to pack.
The Enchanted 10K was a new addition to Princess weekend in 2014 which also added the Glass Slipper Challenge (10K on Saturday and 1/2 Marathon on Sunday). The course for the Enchanted 10K mirrors the course for the WDW 10K during Marathon weekend. The race starts in the EPCOT parking lot and the first few miles are on the roads before you enter into EPCOT around mile 3.5. After running through World Showcase for a mile or so, runners head for a loop around Boardwalk. Running around Boardwalk is one of my favorite parts of the course because a lot of spectators are out cheering for runners as well as the occasional WDW visitor wondering what in the world is going on as they are heading to the bakery for some coffee. Finally, runners enter back into EPCOT's Future World before finishing in the EPCOT parking lot.
The Enchanted 10K was our first runDisney race as a family, so it holds a special place in our hearts to say the least. Here is a look back at our 2014 Enchanted 10K moments as 2 Belles and our "Princess Protector"
For the 2015 Enchanted 10K we went 'Under the Sea' as Ariel, Flounder, and our 'crabby' sidekick Sebastian. We had an absolute blast making our way through EPCOT and crossing the finish line as a family.
Last year Snow White spent 6.2 trying to outrun a sweet old lady that was insisting on sharing a snack with her. Lucky for Snow White, she kept her Prince near by, just in case!
In 2014 and 2015, Momma K, Papa J, and I will all be running the 10K together, however this year Papa J is taking a break from the 10K. We are hard at work on wrapping up our training and of course our COSTUMES! Who will we be running as in 2017? Only time will tell! ;-)
Question of the Day: Do you have any special races (runDisney or not) that your family runs together?
I love to run and most importantly I love to have FUN while I run....I am the "Funner Runner"